To date, offshore gambling sites are still popular among Australian players and bettors. Illegal gambling websites may be banned, but some remain. This is a major worry for the government, with up to AU$400 million spent on offshore sites. Additionally, these sites are being blamed for potential danger to players and loss of tax revenues.
Australia passed amendments to the Interactive Gaming laws late in 2017, and outright banned online casino games like poker and online slots. Currently, licensed operators can only offer lotteries and betting services to Aussies. However, offshore gambling sites are still taking AU players and offering such games. This is because the websites are licensed in countries were regulations are more relaxed.
More Variety at Offshore Online Casinos
Due to the variety of games offered by offshore casinos, Australians are more attracted to their sites. However, this variety comes at a cost, which is usually the protection of players against ‘harmful practices’ and irresponsible gambling. A recent survey by The Conversation revealed that 1001 AU gamblers placed bets on offshore sites in the past month.
According to the survey, players prefer the offshore sites because they are easy to use and have more games than licensed AU sites. Conversely, players who used Aussie sites were more aware of licensing and jurisdiction, but weren’t aware of current legislation. On the other hand, those using local sites chose them on the basis of a legal Australian license seal.
Effective Restrictions Needed
While this is a positive quality in players using domestic sites, experts still believe that restrictions have not been efficient enough. They claim that constant monitoring and control of the web is ‘impossible’. For this reason, it’s been suggested that a public education campaign would be more efficient than trying to restrict offshore gambling.
These campaigns are considered a ‘great option’ for recognising locally licensed sites. Time will tell if gamblers will be able to identify and play at domestic casinos online after the campaign.